Amazon’s upcoming “Lord of the Rings” television series has already found itself in hot water after a report surfaced several weeks ago that the production had hired intimacy coordinators and ensured in the casting process that actors be comfortable with appearing in nude scenes. Thousands of “Rings” fans reacted to the report by signing a petition urging the Amazon series not to include nudity. The fans want to prevent the “Rings” series from including gratuitous sex, as HBO’s “Game of Thrones” did.
During a visit this week to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (see the full interview video here), “Lord of the Rings” movie actors Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd touched upon the nudity controversy by revealing Peter Jackson’s film trilogy almost included nudity itself. Monaghan and Boyd starred as hobbits Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin “Pippin” Took, respectively, in each of Jackson’s three films.
“Here’s the thing. There was almost nudity in the movies,” Boyd said. “[Screenwriter and producer] Philippa Boyens…she wrote a scene, because we’d been doing some kind of gags and winding people up…[and] she said, ‘Oh, it’s a new scene we’re filming next week, with the Ents. When Merry and Pippin are up Treebeard, he gets afraid and shakes his branches, which makes you guys fall, and as you hit all the branches on the way down, by the time you hit the ground, you’re naked. And Merry turns to Pippin and says, ‘It’s cold, isn’t it?’ And Pippin says, ‘Hold me, Merry.’’
Boyed added, “I call up Dom and I said, ‘Have you seen this new scene? We’re naked!’
Monaghan told Colbert he did not oppose the idea of appearing nude in the film, quipping, “I was kind of into it. I have a really fantastic ass. I thought now is the time to get it out.”
Given the scene in question involved Treebeard and the Ents, the nude scene would have appeared in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” As for the Amazon series, there’s no confirmation from Amazon or the cast that nudity will be featured on the show. The fan petition against the nudity (it was launched on Change.org) has reached over 48,000 signatures and counting.